The Grim Reporter

On a day when the number of coronavirus deaths fell, for the fourth day consecutively and when cases also fell dramatically, Reporting Scotland went for a genre you might label ‘Gothic’ or ‘Scottish Miserabilism.’

They also, heroically, managed not to mention Dr MacAskill of Care Scotland who had announced than UK suppliers of PPE were ‘prioritising’ English care homes over Scottish ones as ‘their need was greater!’

This was despite Radio Scotland, Radio 4 News and BBC 1 News reporting it.

They certainly didn’t consider the possibility strongly suggested by the Radio 4 report that Dominic Raab was responsible for bullying the suppliers and coming up with that classic English Tory justification.

What they did have was the cadaverously handsome David Henderson with the above line, ‘Amid the light there is darkness’. Was his dad a stern Calvinist minister in the Kirk?

But first, we heard that the total of deaths is now ‘almost 600!’ It’s 575.

Then came David and he drew us in before hitting us:

‘The skys are clear. Winter’s now a memory but one thing hasn’t changed. A lock-down’s still in place. Around the country the fight against coronavirus is taking on a pattern. It’s a queue for the supermarket. An empty street. A walk in the park, at a safe distance from others but amid the light there’s darkness. 6 000 Scots are confirmed to have had the virus and almost 600 [sic] of them have now died. The true figure we’re told will be much higher and as those numbers rise, there’s a grim message from the country’s most senior health official. Don’t delay funerals…

I’m sorry, I can’t take any more. I know we don’t want folk getting too optimistic and rushing into each other’s arms, as they do, but was this necessary?

There’s more with deaths in a care home but he does lighten the mood a little with the comedic image of a wifie in Buckhaven arrested for hosting a pool party! Buckhaven in April! It’s a wonder they’re not all deid! Oh they are all deid! She’s charged with culpable homicide?’

That line is ridiculous. What light? The falling cases and deaths? You didn’t mention them?

6 000 infected, yes but less than 600 dead. Do you think our hospitals did well to keep the number down? Is that worse than last year from other causes? Tell us. You’re the news.

Almost 600? That’s twice. Why do that? Why not say ‘Five hundred and seventy-five?’ Not scary enough?

As for the ‘true figure’, hasn’t BBC Scotland already described the new Scottish statistics, now including deaths out of hospitals, unlike those elsewhere in UK, as just that?

Overall, this was heavy on melodrama and light on information.